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Champaign-Springfield-Decatur

WCIA Anchor Dave Benton’s Cancer Treatment May Have Added Months to His Life

Benton_1It’s been three months since anchor Dave Benton told viewers of Champaign, Illinois CBS affiliate WCIA that brain cancer had returned, and the diagnosis was grim–he had only a matter of months. In an interview Wednesday with WUIS radio, Benton said treatment has been exhausting, but his doctors believe it has added a few months:

“I’ve been fortunate not to have a lot of side effects so far,” he said. “I sleep a lot the week of treatment (on Tuesdays or Wednesdays every other week.) By that Thursday or Friday, I’m exhausted. I sleep all weekend long, and I kind of bounce back. What I appreciate is that I see a lot of people getting treatment when I’m getting my treatment, and some of them are facing challenges I can’t imagine.”

Benton said he plans to keep working as long as he can, because that’s just what feels right for him–and the people who’ve been in touch to say he’s encouraged them to talk about their own battles with cancer:

“I’ve (heard from) some people that it’s helped them tell their side, and the situation that they’re facing,” he said. “It has helped them to be more positive and to look forward and be grateful for the good things we have at this moment.”

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WCIA Anchor Reveals Cancer Is Back, with Grim Diagnosis

Saying it was time to share some news with “family”, WCIA anchor Dave Benton took time at the end of his newscast on the Champaign, Illinois CBS affiliate to talk about his health. “I’ve found out a few weeks ago, my brain cancer is back,” he said, alongside anchor Jennifer Roscoe.

Last year, Benton underwent brain surgery with the hopes of emerging cancer free. He says now, the cancer is inoperable:

“I’ve learned more about what the future holds. This new tumor is too big for surgery or radiation. I’ve decided to do an antibody treatment and some chemo to try to slow its growth. That’s my best option. That being said, doctors say I have anywhere from four-to-six months before things turn bad. I’m dedicated to keep working. I’ll be here bringing you the news as long as I am able. I’m grateful for the outpouring of support, prayers and cards. It’s meant the world to me. It’s changed my life.”

Sinclair Names GM of WICD-WCCU

Sinclair Broadcasting Group has named Scott McBride general manager of its ABC and FOX affiliates in Champaign, IL, WICD and WCCU.

“Scott’s success in operating an ABC/FOX combination, along with his 33 year of television experience working in creative services, news and sales, is the perfect complement towards the stations being successful and meeting the needs of the Champaign/Urbana community,” said COO of Sinclair’s television group Steve Marks.

McBride, who will also oversee the sales team at CW affiliate WBUI, comes to WICD-WCCU from Sinclair’s ABC and FOX affiliate in Savannah, GA, WJCL-WTGS. Before that he was the vice-president and general manager at WACH in Columbia, SC. He was also the general sales manager at KOLD in Tucson, AZ, and creative services and new account executive at KSBW in Salinas, CA.

Elitsa Bizios Promoted to Evening Anchor at WICD

Elitsa Bizios has officially been named evening anchor at WICD, the ABC-affiliate in Champaign, IL.

Bizios, an Illinois native, has been anchoring the station’s 5, 6, and 10 p.m. newscasts since April on a temporary basis. She joined WICD last September as a reporter and fill-in anchor.

“Elitsa is a solid journalist who brings experience and excitement to her new position,” news director Katie McManus-Faye said. “She was born and raised in Illinois and has ties to the community. In addition, Elitsa relates to the people in this area and understands the issues affecting them.”

Elitsa Bizios has been delivering the WICD Newschannel 15 nightly newscasts since April of 2012. Now, WICD is pleased to officially recognize Elitsa as the Lead Weeknight Anchor of ABC Newschannel 15, broadcasting nightly at 5, 6 and 10pm. 

Longtime WICS Anchor Jerry Lambert to Retire

Jerry Lambert, who currently anchors WICS‘s 5, 6, and 10 p.m. newscasts, is set to retire after 17 years with the Springfield, IL ABC-affiliate.

Lambert, 61, says that stepping away from the WICS anchor desk will allow him to focus on his family and enjoy some leisure time. He told The State Journal-Register recently that he wants to “just sort of have fun with life.”

His final day on-air is scheduled for July 12–his birthday.

Lambert joined WICS in 1995, after working at WTVT in Tampa, as well as WTTV and WTHR in Indianapolis. Read more

See the stories that won WTHR, KSTP and WFAA Peabody Awards

Stations in Indianapolis, Minneapolis, Dallas and Champaign all got some great news this morning, they’ve been awarded a Peabody, the oldest and one of the most prestigious awards in broadcasting.

WTHR has been awarded a Peabody for “Reality Check: Where Are the Jobs?” in which the Peabody committee writes, “reporters exposed grossly inflated job-creation statistics by Indiana state agencies and officials.” Minneapolis/St. Paul’s KSTP wins for “Who Killed Doc?” an investigation of a Minnesota sailor’s accidental electrocution in Iraq.

ABC affiliate WFAA in Dallas/Ft. Worth wins for “Bitter Lessons,” an investigation by the station of government-funded career schools. A Peabody also goes to “The Lord Is Not On Trial Here Today,” presented by WILL-TV, the PBS station in Central Illinois. The Peabody committee calls the story an “artfully assembled documentary” which examines the landmark court case establishing separation of church and state in public schools.

Larry King will be hosting this year’s Peabody Awards ceremony May 23 at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York City.

See the stories, after the jump…

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